April 2022

Destination: HONG KONG Frankie is a visual artist from Tokyo, Japan. A painter at heart, she creates murals, designs, and darumas (traditional Japanese dolls that symbolize luck, goal setting, and perseverance) to share with the world. Since childhood, Frankie had a love of painting. “It was a creative outlet for me, and I found it to be extremely therapeutic at times when I felt frustrated in life. Although I had other interests throughout high school, art was always my true passion and I was determined to make it my profession.” The driving force that led her to become an entrepreneur was her genuine dislike of following other people’s orders. “Becoming my own boss and doing things that came naturally to me was a way to prove to myself and others that I can do things my way.” So how did Frankie turn her passion into a business idea and become an entrepreneur? She watched and learned from other artists. It was important for her to be a freelance visual artist rather than working for a company, so she knew it was essential to understand how to present herself professionally and undertake commissioned jobs from beginning to end. Frankie began promoting herself as an artist while she was still in college. She always carried a handful of business cards ready to give out to people and consistently updated her portfolio on her website. From there, she made connections and kept in touch with people who offered her solo exhibitions as well as live painting and mural gigs. “Now I collaborate with brands and businesses like Google, Instagram, Starbucks, and Adobe.” Starting your own business is taking a leap of faith. It can be terrifying for some, but it wasn’t for Frankie. “I was always confident in myself me. I was offered work in various industries including fashion, tech, travel, entertainment, hospitality, and more.” Each project kept getting bigger and she even painted a 200 meter mural for a parking lot in West Palm Beach, Florida! Being a freelance artist allows Frankie to choose her own projects and set her own schedule. But sometimes she says she stretches herself too thin. “I’ve learned to take breaks in between in order to manage myself better, so I can perform better.” Frankie’s advice? “Look how others are doing it as a career and learn from them. Don’t be afraid to ask how they got to where they are now. Some careers don’t require a college education, and even though a degree isn’t always required in the art and design industry, I’m so glad I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City. SVA’s approach was very hands-on and everything I experienced in college helped me become a professional and shaped me to become the artist I am today.” Want to see more? For more of Frankie’s stunning work? Go to: IG @furpuff or Frankie-cihi.com and determined enough to figure it out. There were setbacks along the way of course, but I worked through each issue and I’m glad where I am now.” One of the most exciting moments in Frankie’s journey was when she appeared on a reality TV show in Japan called Terrace House. “My life changed so much because people recognized Are you the creative type who wants to be your own boss? Wondering how you can turn that dream into a reality? Read Frankie’s story to learn how. “Look how others are doing it ... Don’t be afraid to ask how they got to where they are now.” Frankie’s mural in West Palm Beach, Florida Frankie Chi - Mural Artist